Telluride Institute News: Peter Gold — Connecting Tibetan Buddhism with Navajo Sacred Teaching

Telluride Institute News: Peter Gold — Connecting Tibetan Buddhism with Navajo Sacred Teaching



By Elisabeth Gick

[click “Play” to listen to Elisabeth’s conversation with Peter Gold]

Author/anthropologist Peter Gold is coming to the Telluride Institute’s Compassion for a World in Crisis Festival.

Peter Gold is a man of many titles – anthropologist, ethno musician, student of Buddhism, traveler, author, professor. Maybe it’s a result of his Buddhist training that he is so easy-going, with a great smile. He will give one of the keynote speeches at the Telluride Institute’s Compassion for a World in Crisis Festival, July 8 – 10.

The title of his speech reflects the title of his brilliant book: The Circle of the Spirit, Navajo and Tibetan Sacred Wisdom. To any of us who are familiar with Navajo and Tibetan faces their physical resemblance is striking. Add to that their common preference for turquoise and coral jewelry, their obvious love for veryGold_p_bookCover_web bright colors, the use of juniper incense, the fact that they live on the highest plateau of their respective continents – and you have the opening chapter of Mr. Gold’s book. The similarities go very deep from there, having to do with ancient philosophies, wisdom and reverence. Mr. Gold eloquently describes the creation myths, cosmology, sacred geography, healing and initiation rituals of these two fascinating cultures.

Let me quote Lama Anagarika Govinda: “Your descriptions,” he says, “are deeply moving and will teach even the un-initiated the beauty and spiritual achievements of Tibetan Buddhism. You have seen this through the eyes of a poet and the heart of a lover.”

What’s important for all of us, and the reason for Mr. Gold’s speaking at Compassion Festival, is that he takes his knowledge and expertise to the next level, exploring what these ancient cultures can teach us westerners in the 21st century. He believes there are some vital lessons in compassion, peace, and humanitarian principles to be gained from these imperiled people who live on the opposite sides of the globe.

Mr. Gold will speak on Friday at 8 p.m., but also take part in panels and conversations throughout Friday and Saturday of the festival.

“Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things,” said Trappist mystic Thomas Merton.

In a nutshell: Compassion Festival, July 8 – 10, Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, Colorado. Transferable tickets are $100 for the whole package. Tickets to individual sessions ($20 each) will be available ten minutes before that session. Tickets are also available at the Main Street table during lunch hour on Tuesday, Wednesday, the Farmers’ Market on Friday, and at the Telluride Music Company at 201 E. Main Street. More info, events schedule, and tickets at, click on Compassion Festival or call us at 970 728 8312.

More details about this fantastic event next week, right here at Telluride Inside… and Out.

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